Ram Takes the Tesla Approach to Electric Trucks, Not the Ford

We finally got a look at Ram’s EV concept, but is it what pickup buyers want?

The Ram Revolution BEV Concept, an electric pickup truck that was unveiled at CES 2023
You say you want a Revolution? Or a Lightning? Or an R1T?

When Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck, Ford wasn’t shy about poking fun at the electric pickup that looked straight out of Blade Runner. A Ford communications manager even tweeted a GIF of Ryan Gosling giggling. The two automakers are on opposite ends of the spectrum in their approach to their debut electric trucks: Tesla pushed the design boundaries into polarizing territory, while Ford with its Lightning basically took a run-of-the-mill gas-powered F-150 and swapped in an EV powertrain. Now it’s up to buyers to decide between something futuristic and something traditional. (Well, at least when the Cybertruck goes on sale, if it ever does.) 

Last year, Chevrolet joined Tesla over in the futuristic camp with the announcement of their Silverado EV. Then on Thursday, Ram did the same, unveiling the Revolution Battery-electric Vehicle Concept at the Consumer Electronics Show. This is the first look at an electric truck from Ram, and while it’s only a concept (a more staid production version of the vehicle, without all the bells and whistles featured here, will be “introduced in the coming months” according to a press release), it’s clear the Stellantis brand is aiming for something truly modern.

“The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is our clearest signal yet that we’re on the precipice of something extraordinary at Ram and points directly to where we’re going on our electrified journey,” said Mike Koval Jr., Ram brand CEO at Stellantis. “At Ram, we’ve redefined what pickup trucks can be, and we will do so again by pushing past what competitors are offering by delivering the best electric pickups on the market.”

The question is, do automakers and truck buyers have the same definition of “the best electric pickups”? Right now, the only electric trucks readily available are the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T, the latter of which, despite being a brand new EV from a startup, actually leans classic with its boxy exterior design. (The GMC Hummer EV is also technically available, but order slots for that have been full for a while as production levels are low, so it’s hard to judge normal consumer interest in what is so far a niche release.) And while demand so far seems strong for the Ford and Rivian models, with the only problem now being actually building and delivering the pickups, it’s not clear whether buyers will be similarly enthused with the more avant-garde designs, especially from brands where there is already a built-in (read: gasoline-loving) truck fanbase. 

“You guys couldn’t just make them electric, but not make the outside all modern looking? Imagine a [sic] electric truck but a classic look on the outside to please your customers. Not digging the modern look,” reads one comment with over 100 likes on Ram’s Instagram post announcing the concept. Another user wrote, “Why does [sic] all the electric/hybrid vehicles have to look ‘futuristic’?”

A couple comments from random Instagram users do not make a consensus by any means, but these are the issues automakers must grapple with as they attempt to balance new vehicle technology, loyal customer bases and the need to stay relevant in the industry. As for Ford, that brand seems to be hedging its bets, as they’re reportedly working on another electric truck that will take on a new nameplate beyond F-150, in essence offering pickup buyers the choice between a traditional-looking EV and a futuristic EV. Now that’s how you cover your bases. 

Head over to Ram here to learn more about the Revolution Concept. The Verge also has a good breakdown of all the crazy features the brand packed into it.

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